Reviewing a classic like Mildred Pierce (1945) for all ye chutiyas who delude yourself that trash like 3 Idiots, Dasavatharam and My Name is Khan are the ne plus ultra of movies or that two-bit ass-wipe of an actress Priyanka Chopra is the real thing is akin to flinging the proverbial pearls before the passing herd of stinking swine.
Oh, well, let it be. Let it be. The milk of kindness overfloweth in our bosom today. 😉
By the way, Ginger Brandy with some Seltzer Water and two ice cubes and Ben & Jerry’s Cherry Garcia ice cream on the side is a great combination. We strongly recommend it, particularly if you get writer’s cramp, or is it the writer’s block, as often as we do.
A short while ago, we popped the DVD of the 65-year-old movie Mildred Pierce into our home theater.
And from that moment on, until the end of this black and white film some 109-minutes later it was one lengthy, soul-shuddering orgasm.
To watch Joan Craword in Mildred Pierce is to marvel at an extraordinary actress who owns the screen.
A real actress, we mean. Not these dumb Bollywood c*nts, who wouldn’t know which orifice to shove the dildo into if we were to hand one to them.
And mind you Joan takes possession of the screen amidst a bunch of talented co-stars. Voila.
Why Mildred Pierce?
We picked Mildred Pierce from among the countless movies on Netflix for one reason.
One reason only.
Because it was directed by Michael Curtiz.
Michael Curtiz who, you ask? Of course, lemmings will ask such questions.
Show me your questions and I’ll tell you how big a schmuck you are.
OK kiddo, enough of jousting around.
Michael Curtiz is was the director of Casablanca.
Yeah, the “We’ll always have Paris‘ movie featuring our inamorata Ingrid Bergman and Bogie a.k.a Humphrey Bogart.
Excuse us for a minute, will you, while we replenish our glass and pat ourselves on the back for a fine pick.
Mildred Pierce is a movie that movie buffs are wont to classify in the noir genre.
It’s a dark night.
We see a house on the beach, lots of shots are fired, a man slumps forward on the carpet and dies.
But not before murmuring Mildred.
No, we don’t see the person shooting. All we notice is a car parked outside the house moving away.
And then we espy the sad-looking woman walking alone on the bridge and stopping.
Hell, what do sad-looking women in their 40s and standing alone on a bridge in the dark of the night contemplate.
A policeman dissuades her because he doesn’t want to catch pneumonia by jumping into the water to rescue her. Also, if she’s not stopped, there’d be no movie.
The man’s body is discovered.
By this time, the woman has reached her home. And the cops come calling again and ask her to go with them to the police station.
More than a Noir
Based on the above if you thought Mildred Pierce was merely another noir film, you’d be so wrong but forgiven since you don’t know all the facts.
You see Mildred Pierce is so much more – Tis’ a fine amalgam of insatiable greed, terrible betrayal, errors of judgment, personal loss, great sacrifice and, of course, deep love.
Except for a few short minutes following the murder and again later toward the end, the movie is narrated in flashback by, of course, our heroine Mildred (Joan Crawford) to the detective in the police station.
The movie sparkles. In the extraordinary acting, in the crackling dialogs, in the fine humor and in the many confrontations.
And here’s the best confrontation of ’em all:
Why do you think I went to all this trouble. Why do I think I want money so badly…With this money, I can get away from you…from you and your chickens and your pies and your kitchens and everything that smells of grease. I can get away from this shack with its cheap furniture and this town and its dollar days, and its women that wear uniforms and its men that wear overalls….You think just because you made a little money you can get a new hairdo and some expensive clothes and turn yourself into a lady. But you can’t, because you’ll never be anything but a common frump whose father lived over a grocery store and whose mother took in washing. With this money, I can get away from every rotten stinking thing that makes me think of this place or you.
– Veda to Mildred in one of the great confrontations we’ve seen on the screen
Joan Crawford richly deserved the Oscar (1946) for a magnificent performance that’s still winning her lavish praise for her role as Mildred long, long decades after the movie was made and many, many years after she passed away.
Although Joan Crawford was 40 when the movie was made, she still retained a beguiling charm we’ve seldom seen even in our younger Bollywood starlets.
While Joan Crawford is indisputably the star of the show as the woman who tragically loses one dear thing after another, her co-stars are no less impressive.
Two of them (Ann Blyth and Eve Arden) were nominated for the Best Supporting Actress Oscar.
In all, Mildred Pierce received a total of six Academy Award nominations. Bravo!
Jack Carson as Mildren’s long-time admirer Wally Fay and Zachary Scott as the pauper playboy Monte Beragon put in memorable performances as well. Particularly, Jack Carson who gets some great witty lines in the film.
Watching Mildred Pierce must be made compulsory for all our Bollywood starlets before they’re allowed to don the greasepaint.
You can rent Mildred Pierce DVD from Netflix if you live in the U.S. As for the Mera Bharat Mahaan Indians interested in this intoxicating fare, do we really need to spell out things. 😉